Posts Tagged ‘ frozen ’

It’s Not Ice Cream: Talenti Gelato

So, I consider myself a fairly adventuresome eater, and am willing to try almost anything once (I’ll definitely “try” it more if I like it). Still, when it comes to Ice Cream, or “frozen desserts” I have pretty faithfully stuck by Ben & Jerry’s.

Well, a while back I stopped by a neat little place called Swan Chocolates in Merrimack, and managed to try some of their homemade gelato. Without going into a review of that, let’s just say that my eyes were opened to the possible wonders that gelato holds.

Now, for a little context. I won’t paste the Wikipedia article here, but I will point out that gelato differs from ice cream primarily by using less butterfat, and less sugar. The result is a much creamier texture, and a more vibrant flavor in every taste. Now this doesn’t really make gelato any healthier,  but it does make it a very different frozen animal.

Okay, on to the actual review. For a long time now, Talenti gelato has been catching my eye as it is parked next to my beloved Ben & Jerry’s in my local grocery store’s frozen food aisle. You can see some of the allure in the image above. Even though the shot is straight from Talenti’s website, it’s actually what it looked like in person (you know, excluding the cookie and caramel sitting next to it). Really, the stuff comes in a neat little plastic container with a screw top so you can see the food you’re buying. It’s pretty novel, and very eye-catching…you to distract you from the nearly five dollar price tag.

To the actual flavor: holy wow on my taste buds Batman! Gelato really doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to getting flavor to your brain. It’s instant, and delicious. It’s hard to put my finger on one flavor, but it’s really like the most pure cookies and cream flavor that I’ve ever tasted, infused with a rich, and decadent caramel that adds a deep body to the ice cream’s taste. Needless to say, more than one of these has already been consumed since I discovered this flavor. I haven’t even grabbed Ben & Jerry’s since. Now I’m not saying that this is better than the old B & J, but it’s definitely completely different, and a nice change of pace.

If you want to try something with a little more class, and give yourself a treat, try Talenti Gelato out. I will again, and will bring some thoughts on their other flavors here as well.


Review: Ben & Jerry’s Limited Edition Pumpkin Cheesecake

So, if you can’t tell by the picture to the left, this limited edition Ben & Jerry’s flavor that I found along with the Exclusive Carrot Cake flavor is a returning contender to the seasonal lineup of ice cream in the freezer.

I don’t remember seeing this flavor before, but seeing it now, I was knocked out by the one two punch of pumpkin and cheesecake in the name. I simply couldn’t leave Walmart without a pint of this ice cream to try.

So, what are we talking here with this ice cream. It’s a pretty directed flavor as people usually either love or hate the pumpkin onslaught this time of year, and the same split exists on cheesecake in general. Both are flavors that simply aren’t for everyone.

Well, digging into this flavor, I was no blown away by pumpkin flavor like I have been with some other seasonal pumpkin items. Still, it’s worth noting that I don’t think this flavor is meant to be overwhelmingly pumpkiny. Instead, Ben & Jerry’s managed to walk a fine line, and truly create  a pumpkin cheesecake combination. You get the spice, and nutmeg that characterize pumpkin flavored treats, but it’s tempered by the mild tang of the cheesecake. It has worked for me in actual pumpkin cheesecake, so I’m not surprised to see it work in an ice cream. I mean, what goes better with pumpkin than a cream cheese based flavor? Nothing in my mind.

The other component that keeps to the Ben & Jerry’s formula is the graham cracker swirl. It mixes the texture up just enough as well as adds some variety to a strong note of flavor like pumpkin cheesecake. Overall, the flavor isn’t my favorite, but still comes together perfectly as a whole. I wouldn’t change a thing, but this is definitely just right as a seasonal treat instead of a staple flavor in the Ben & Jerry’s lineup.

Review: Ben & Jerry’s Exclusive Flavor Carrot Cake

Okay, so this review sadly doesn’t have a picture, or even a link to a section of Ben & Jerry’s describing this amazing flavor. Also, I’m in the process of moving, so that nixed much of my ability to take some shots of what this flavor looks like. Anyways, the other night I swung by my local Wal-Mart to pick up some odds and ends. Like always, I just happened to walk by the ice cream isle. And what pray tell did I see? Not one, but two flavors of Ben & Jerry’s that I’d never seen before.

That’s right folks, two unprecedented B&J flavors. Well of course they were in basket before I could say Limited Edition. The two flavors I found were Carrot Cake, and Pumpkin Cheesecake. The Pumpkin Cheesecake review will come down the road in a little bit because I needed to have me some Carrot Cake.

This flavor is described as a “Caramel Ice Cream with Carrot Cake Chunks, and a Cream Cheese Frosting Swirl”. Now that, like carrot cake itself, is an interesting flavor profile. So what was it actually like. Opening the pint, the first scent that hit my was the cream cheese frosting. It was actually pretty powerful, kind of like when you open a prepackaged can of the Duncan Hines frosting. Still, I would not be deterred by a strong scent alone.

Digging into the ice cream, I found that it was mild in the caramel flavor. I was kind of put off with my first scoop because of how mellow that first bite actually was. Caramel is good, but I wouldn’t be blown away by a straight tasting of it. Then I hit that classic B&J mix. I got a bit with the swirl (which was kind of hard to spot being colorblind, and a chunk of carrot cake. Wow. The frosting swirl is actually a bit thinner than some of the other swirls I’ve seen in B&J’s ice cream, but here with its potency, it works well. Now add to that the carrot cake chunks. This is moist, real, delicious carrot cake. We’re talking Grandma’s homemade level of good here people. It’s with the trifecta of components here that I can really appreciate the subtle caramel ice cream now.

Okay, enough ranting. Needless to say, this is a great flavor profile from Ben & Jerry’s. It just captures what to me is a classic flavor of fall so well. For now, all I’ve found out about it is that it was at Wal-Mart, and had an “Exclusive Flavor” tag on it. Get you some folks as I can’t tell you anymore. Mr’ Internet is quiet about this gem of the ice cream world.

Review: Mint Oreo Fudge Cremes

Can something be better than a Girl Scout Thin Mint? I know, some readers may scoff at the question. Who could honestly question the cookie superiority that is the Thin Mint, that one box that is most fought over in the house, and can disappear in single sittings? Oreo can.

I know this might sound sacrilegious, but I think I may actually like these mint fudge cremes more than the Thin Mint. I didn’t feel this way at first with a test straight out of the package, but once these had sat in the freezer, doubt of the holy Thin Mint crept into my heart.

What makes these so amazing you might ask. Well for starters, my local Walmart caries them for $1.98. There is no going wrong with that price tag. Also, they are available year round…Okay, maybe there are some problems here, but they are in the right (unhealthy) direction. But still, price and availability do not a great cookie make. These are good.

Let me break this down for you. While a Thin Mint is great in it’s chocolate coating, the fudge cremes really do pull off a fudgy chocolate coating that packs a thicker chocolate punch. The insides use half of an Oreo cookie with that unique filling as a base except that it has been mint-i-fied to perfection. This cookie is my dream of a Thin Mint somehow made better. Some may doubt me. That’s okay, but before you judge, try these for yourselves, and join me on the dark side… We have cookies; tasty, minty, fudgy, thin-mint-beating cookies.

Review: Smart Ones Pasta with Ricotta and Spinach

So, those of us in the diet world are all to aware of what waits for us in the frozen food section of the grocery store. Moving past the temptation that is the ice cream, and dessert section, we fall upon the frozen foods. Here we can focus on our three pillars: Lean Cuisine, Smart Ones, and Healthy Choice (I’m sure there are other options, but these are what stare me in the face).

Over my years of dieting, I have learned one main rule of diet frozen food: sometimes it is good, and sometimes it is very very bad, and it has nothing to do with what the “intended” meal was. It’s just the way it goes, as some things lend themselves more easily to diet-ising. Some of my favorites are the Simple mac and cheese, or pasta with meat sauce. Salisbury steak is to be avoided at all costs. And still, that’s just my preference.

Anyways, Sunday night saw me trying to end the weekend on a positive note, so I was looking for cheap, easy, and healthy. Hello Smart Ones. Well, I say the “new” flavor, and said why not. It’s hard to go wrong with pasta and cheese.  Talk about luck, we have a winner folks.

This new frozen meal is awesome. The pasta in it was made up of hardy ribbons that oozed the surprisingly tasty and filling white cheese sauce. I mean, the stuff had substance. The pasta was weighty, and didn’t turn to mush in my mouth. The ricotta cheese sauce was actually thick, and flavorful without being a paste. If I hadn’t microwaved this, it might have been homemade for all I knew. I’m just saying this folks, for 5 points, you can’t go wrong here.

I will be buying this again, and keeping it as a staple in my freezer. You should do the same. It’s not a compromise, this stuff is a treat.

Lean Pockets Chart Pr0n

So, for some reason I’ve been on a kick of researching different product groups, and building charts out of them so I can find point values easily. It’s only fair that I pass on my “research” to you, the dieting and curious masses. Without further ado, here’s a break-down of the points and nutrition for Lean Pockets.

Oh, and sadly I could not do the same with the other Hot Pocket products as I can’t find their nutrition information published on the company’s website. Oh Well.

Per Serving Per Pkg
Flavor Calories Fat Fiber Points Points
Breakfast – Applewood Bacon, Egg & Cheese 290 8 2 6 12
Breakfast – Ham, Egg & Cheese 270 7 1 6 12
Breakfast – Sausage, Egg & Cheese 280 8 2 6 12
Breakfast Quesadilla – Southwest Style Turkey Sausage, Egg & Cheese 250 8 1 5 11
Cheeseburger 290 9 2 6 12
Chicken Parmesan 290 7 3 6 12
Culinary Creations – Chicken Bacon Dijon 270 8 3 5 11
Culinary Creations – Chipotle Chicken 260 7 4 5 11
Culinary Creations – Garlic Chicken White Pizza 270 8 3 5 11
Culinary Creations – Grilled Chicken, Mushroom & Spinach 240 6 3 5 10
Culinary Creations – Spinach Artichoke Chicken 240 6 3 5 10
Made with Whole Grain – Chicken, Broccoli & Cheddar 250 7 4 5 10
Made with Whole Grain – Ham & Cheddar 270 8 3 5 11
Made with Whole Grain – Meatballs & Mozzarella 240 7 4 5 10
Made with Whole Grain – Three Cheese & Broccoli 240 6 4 5 10
Made with Whole Grain – Turkey & Ham with Cheese 260 8 3 5 11
Made with Whole Grain – Turkey, Broccoli & Cheese 260 8 4 5 11
Made with Whole Grain Pizzeria – Supreme Pizza 220 6 4 4 9
Meatballs and Mozerella 290 9 3 6 12
Mexican Style – Chicken & Cheese 260 8 2 5 11
Mexican Style – Chicken Fiesta 240 7 3 5 10
Pepperoni Pizza 290 8 2 6 12
Philly Steak & Cheese 270 8 2 6 11
Pizzeria – Four Cheese Pizza 270 5 2 5 11
Pizzeria – Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza 280 8 2 6 12
Seasoned Crust Pizzeria – Grilled Chicken Mediterranean 330 7 3 7 7
Soft Baked SUBS – Italian Style Meatballs 250 7 3 5 10
Soft Baked SUBS – Pepperoni with Red Peppers 250 7 2 5 10
Soft Baked SUBS – Philly Steak & Cheese Made with Chicken 240 6 1 5 10
Stuffed Quesadilla – Grilled Chicken & Three Cheese 360 8 2 7 7
Stuffed Quesadilla – Grilled Chicken Fajita 350 8 2 7 7